I thought about naming this post Guys Belting, but figured that might be misconstrued.
There is something about men singing that thrills me, that sends currents of electricity crackling through my limbs, a frisson of delight. From my earliest moments I was raised with the sound of guys singing. Though my dad’s income was scant, there was an abundance of books and music in our home. In the chapel of my childhood, we split hymns, e.g. everyone on verses 1 and 2, men only verse 3, women verse 4, all on the last verse. The men’s verse was always my favorite. There was a potent oomph, a deep well, a pleasing sound when they sang.
Two (among a thousand) things I love about my church: 1) there are no silent men when we sing. Male participation is universal. 2) The guys sing like they have testosterone in them. It is glorious.
Random guy-singing memories:
• Hearing my seven year old sing as he washed the dishes
• My four brothers singing in a spontaneous quartet at the 1996 Harper reunion.
• Loving the way Garrison Keillor sings. His voice isn’t excellent, but he puts himself into the singing.
• The sound of singing in the shower
• My brother (who sings in the opera) practicing with the volume UP in the garage when he visits us.
• Watching teen-aged boys playing frisbee on the lawn after church, singing as they play
• Hearing my son(s) sing to his baby
• Listening to my grandson sing Come Thou Fount
• Another grandson singing You Are My Sunshine
• My husband singing his seventh grade fight song at a dinner party a few years ago
• Puddling up whenever my brother (pictured above) sings Children of the Heavenly Father
Yesterday, a friend said that her husband likes to belt out How Can I Keep from Singing? My estimation of him jumped up five notches. I like guys that belt it out.
I long to live in a culture, like South Africa or Wales or Estonia, where singing is so deeply woven into daily life, that folks find it impossible not to sing. Can you imagine waiting in line (subway, Costco, at school) with strangers, and everyone joining in a song? Our headphones/ear buds keep us isolated. [Aside: this is why I loathe personal DVDs in the car.] Singing connects us in a powerful way. Aren’t the best times at a party when everyone sings along to the music?
The first man in my life, my dad, was a man who sang. It is he who taught me, by example, how magnificent it is to hear a man sing. If I were evaluating a potential husband, he would be, among other things, a guy who holds babies, a guy who appreciates poetry, a guy who reads, and a guy who sings.
Thank you, Dad.
JWH, October 3, 1922 – February 14, 1987
I need your help. I’m collecting a list of (clean) movies that have a group of guys singing. I thought of The Hunt for Red October, O Brother, Where Art Thou and How Green Was My Valley. The singing in the trailer for The Hobbit gave me goosebumps. Can you recommend others? Do you have memories of guys singing?